A Different Way To Zoom

“We are on a planet that orbits an insignificant star. The star is on the edge of an unremarkable galaxy, which itself is one of at least two hundred billion others. Our sun has 700 trillion septillion sisters.”

Tim Ash

One of the small yet mighty self-fidelity practices I frequently call on is the practice of zooming. I am not talking about video-conferencing. This type of zooming requires no technology and can help us let go of a burden we are carrying – to experience more lightness, contentment and freedom.

Zooming is the practice of stepping way back from a challenge to view it within the context of a much bigger picture. Often, when I use this practice, a challenge which has threatened to overwhelm me suddenly feels much lighter and I experience a sense of relief.

It is so easy to be swept away by the all-too-familiar human delusion that we are the center of the universe. The voices in my head often convince me that my day-to-day challenges are catastrophic, permanent or too much for me too handle (or all three). When I remember that I can zoom out, I may recall that I am one of billions of tiny, busy specks scurrying around on a small blue marble that is hurtling through space – each one of us convinced we are the center of the universe. Perhaps somewhat counterintuitively this perspective often brings with it a sense of relief.

If taking this perspective does not work for you, perhaps you can try zooming out over your life’s time-line to consider whether the struggle you are wrestling with in this moment feels as heavy, catastrophic or overwhelming when you see it is the context of your entire year. Or, you can try zooming forward to imagine how your feelings towards this current challenge might be different in a year or five years from now.

This week I am entering the second week of 14 days of home quarantine after new restrictions were announced while my family was interstate visiting family. It is not exactly the way I had imaged spending Christmas holidays with my husband and two young sons – and yet I am surprisingly relaxed. I keep reminding myself that there will only be a limited number of Summer holidays where my boys really want to be with me and show me everything they do – calling out “Mum…” fifty times a day. Also, I realised that this is the first time in my adult life that I have a long stretch of time with nowhere to be and nothing planned. I am discovering a new level of presence with my kids and have learnt a lot about the voices in my head that often manage to convince me that something on my to-do-list is both urgent and important – when often, it is neither. I know I will be zooming back to this experience many times in the years to come to help me remember what it feels like to really ‘be’ with my kids mirroring their total immersion in the present moment.

Self-fidelity Practice To Play With This Week

I invite you to play with the small yet mighty practice of zooming out or zooming forward/back this week. Here are some questions to guide you:

  • How might you play with zooming out or zooming forward/back this week to consider your current challenges within a different context?
  • When you do this, how does it change your perception of your challenges? Do they feel lighter? Do you experience a sense of relief?

Did you miss the first Hello Monday Morning post of 2021 – no worries, read it here: Don’t Resolve – Aspire

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